Comedian Dave Mordal headlines Keystone’s New Year’s Eve bash | SummitDaily.com
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Comedian Dave Mordal headlines Keystone’s New Year’s Eve bash

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KEYSTONE – You can laugh ’til you cry – or ’til you soil yourself – but try to stay in your seat, or Dave Mordal will sic his secret service team on you.Mordal is the headliner for Keystone’s New Year’s Eve comedy show at the Keystone Conference Center. The show features four performers from NBC’s popular series “Last Comic Standing”: Mordal, Cory Kahaney, Tess Drake and Dan Naturman.After the comedy routines, a live DJ will spin favorite dance tunes until the New Year.”Last Comic Standing” is a survivor-style reality show that tosses 10 comedians into a house and lets television viewers vote for their favorites.Mordal, a native of Elk River, Minn., has been performing stand-up comedy for nine years. He also has appeared on “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”The Summit Daily recently snagged a chance to catch up with Mordal, whose busy schedule, he claims, includes fighting crime.

Summit Daily News: How did you get into comedy?Dave Mordal: I started doing amateur nights. I took a class from this woman in Minneapolis. She was so horrible that I thought, “If she can do this, anyone can.” It went really well, I started getting gigs and I quit my job a year and a half later.SDN: Before that you were a Marine?DM: I was a Marine, and after that I worked on cranes with big scrap metal.SDN: What do you like about doing comedy?DM: There’s money, that’s it. I hate comedy, but the money is so good you can’t turn it down. Really, it’s only when I’ve written something new and I get to try it out that I have fun.SDN: Is it true you always tried to maintain originality on the show?DM: My only goal was never to repeat anything. I could have won if I’d repeated some of my really good bits. I’ve only repeated once, on “The Tonight Show.” Nobody watches “Last Comic Standing” and “The Tonight Show.”SDN: How would you describe your style?DM: I’m pretty much a potpourri. I have something for everybody – computer nerd, homemaker, you’re gonna like something. I never specialize. I never do relationship material. I don’t get into that.SDN: The material or the actual dating?DM: I haven’t dated anybody in years. No interest. Not having a female around saves approximately $1,500 a month. That’s a house right there.SDN: Are you usually thinking about your next material while on the stage?DM: Definitely, ’cause I like to switch it up. I’ll never be a guy that does the same thing. I’ll start with something I shouldn’t to see if I can get away with it. I’ll end on a weak bit that I shouldn’t then say “goodnight.” Only way I can stay interested.SDN: So how is it you liked your scrap metal job so much?DM: It looks monotonous, but it’s really not. You’re always finding stuff, always dealing with different people. Big, greasy, dangerous machine – nobody wants to come near you. Nobody’s telling you what to do.SDN: Do you find comedy to be similar?DM: Comedy kinda parallels it. You can do whatever you want. Five years ago people would tell me “We gotta have it clean.” Now, say that, and it’s “Hire somebody else then – you hired me to do my act, not yours.” I’ve turned down so much stuff because of that.SDN: Where do you find inspiration for your material?DM: Usually when I’m doing something really monotonous. You’re not paying that much attention, your mind is racing. I wrote most of my stuff while driving. The first half while I was in my crane. If somebody looked at my notebook, they wouldn’t find it funny at all. It’s all in the delivery and the style and the context.SDN: Do you think the elevation will cause any lapse in judgment on the stage?DM: I know it will. As much as I smoke, I’m gonna need as much oxygen as I can get. I do much better at sea level.SDN: You used to operate heavy machinery. If all of Keystone’s groomers get wasted tonight, could you fill in?DM: I’m sure I could. Positive. I own a groomer. I bought a 1966 Tucker Snowcat, what they used to groom trails from Oregon to Colorado. Looks like a Studebaker on tanktracks. I was running it this morning actually – tuning it up and just hoping we’d get some snow.SDN: Everyone at table 11 stands up and throws snowballs at you. What do you do?DM: Throw ’em right back. About all you can do. Don’t even duck, that would be cowardice under fire. I might duck behind the MC. Lose an MC, that’s why they’re there.SDN: During which hour of the day are you funniest?DM: I would say nighttime. I’m not funny during the day. I gotta be without sleep to be funny. Sleep deprivation seems to help in this business.SDN: Was sleep deprivation a big factor on the set of “Last Comic Standing?”DM: Yea, we got very little sleep on the set. Comics are night owls by nature. On the set, lights are on all the time. It’s almost like being in jail, they film you 24 hours a day. Not much sleeping except to snore.SDN: Which is colder: Elk River, Minn., or Keystone, Colo.?DM: Man I would have to say Elk River. It’s 5 below right now. Especially with no snow. Really ruins your day. It’s just dirt.SDN: All that cold and no elevation. Do Minnesotans have mountain, or perhaps snow, envy?DM: They certainly have snow envy. You can’t swing a dead cat around here without seeing a snowmobile for sale. There hasn’t been snow for six years. I don’t know how the industry keeps going.SDN: Some say your delivery style is “seat-of-the-pants comedy.” Does that mean people aren’t allowed to stand up during the show?DM: Very much so. You can’t stand up or there’s gonna be trouble. We have a secret service team. Even if you gotta go to the bathroom just stay seated – it’ll dry. It’ll always dry.SDN: How, with all your gigs and whatnot, do you manage to keep your website (www.davemordal.com) so up-to-date and snazzy?DM: Ha, ha, ha. That’s easy. That website cost me $30,000 a year. Very, very expensive. People think simple is cheap. The more I add to it, the cheaper it is, and I want an expensive website. Have you been to it? It’s horrible. I used the program that came with my computer to make it. That site proves the Internet is dead. I did “The Tonight Show,” and “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn,” and after three years I’ve had 53,000 hits. And most of those were me, checking to see if I’d had any hits. People don’t go to websites; they just don’t. One of my favorite things is when people ask me what my website is. It’s my name.com, ever think of trying that?SDN: Who would have won the reality show if all the comics were filmed riding up ski lifts?DM: I think Rich Voss, just because he likes to look good. He’d have the Gucci boots and everything. I’d look like a lumberjack with old Nordic skis.SDN: Suppose we actually make that show. You interested?DM: Yea, I would certainly do it. Not only that, I’d put it on my website immediately. I don’t care what it costs – I’d have it on there.SDN: Do you want to give away any material for the show?DM: We’re gonna be picking on fat people. I’ve been doing that for the last month. They’ve gotta go back to smoking.SDN: Have you found smoking to be good for weight control?DM: I’ve been 160 lbs. for the past 25 years, never gained an ounce. Quit smoking and they look like Jabba the Hut, and I gotta sit next to them at restaurants. I just can’t deal with that.SDN: What audience rating would you give your routine?DM: I’d give it an R rating. At least an ‘R.Mark Hoadley can be contacted at mhoadley@summitdaily.com.


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